In your "Editor's Desk" column that appeared in the April 2012 edition of Accounting Today, you lauded many individuals who have been associated with the publication. I specifically noted your mention of the two academics from the West, Miller and Bahnson, who you praised as "incendiary." I take it that "incendiary" is your euphemistic way of commending:
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Two professors who sit in their Ivory Tower and routinely and derisively criticize those out there actually doing something.
Negativity to the point of rarely, if ever, having a compliment or kind word for anybody or anything.
The touting of theories that have no practical application in the real world.
The venting of personal biases based upon inaccurate and/or incomplete knowledge of the facts.
Your professors are not at all bashful about making statements and expressing opinions on subjects upon which they are woefully uninformed. A case in point is their fusillades on the American Institute of CPAs. Their ignorance about such things as its governance, its broad-based member input, its extensive public service programs, and its programs to fund and support accounting Ph.D programs, just to name a few, is appalling yet, incredibly, it is self-imposed.
Despite my offers to personally meet with Paul Miller to provide him with balanced information to help him improve the quality of his assertions, he has affirmatively declined the opportunity to expand his knowledge base. Moreover, he has not availed himself of the opportunity to request a personal visit with the present chairman of the board of the AICPA, Greg Anton, who also lives on Colorado's Front Range, just a short distance away. That kind of closed mindset and lack of objectivity is a surprise coming from any professional, but it is incomprehensible coming from an academic whose professional calling is dedicated to the expansion of knowledge.
I realize that letters to the editor, assuming they are printed, are no match for a regular column with all of the publishing and editorial accoutrements. I am also aware of the advice sometimes attributed to Mark Twain that one should, "Never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel." Accordingly, I can only imagine what these two cowboys from the Wild West are going to do with the overwhelming and perennial advantage they have with their lifelong column. That said, hope springs eternal that somehow they might be moved to go to the trouble to be better informed and add some objectivity to their monthly rant.
A. Marvin Strait, CPA
Colorado Springs, Colo.